Daffodil Dog

Looking back at the archives from a year ago shows that some things were a little farther ahead.  The Bradford pear was blooming by March 6th.  On the 13th of March there was snow on the daffodils.  Looking farther back to 2015, there were dire predictions that have indeed come to fruition.  Would it not be nice if we could project ourselves forward to see the consequences of our actions today?  If that were possible, would we then be willing to listen to our returning selves when we say, “Proceed with caution.”  Caution has been thrown to the wind.  Some disparage the usefulness of history, but surely the account of these days will read like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky met the Three Stooges and hilarity ensued.  Or like a besotted Charles Dickens lamenting today’s unbridled selfishness and contempt for the common good.  The March 23, 2015 edition of The Champion News references Romans 5: “Tribulation works patience and patience, experience and experience, hope.”  Another quote from that edition: “If you were a dainty dish of sweet cream butter and I were a fancy filigreed silver butter knife, I’d smear you all over these hills, just like the daffodils.”  People with grandchildren down in Texas can soon hope to be getting pictures of the little darlings in fields of bluebonnets.  Those fields will look like they were spread with blueberry jam.  When those pictures do not come, some Old Champions are content to settle for pictures of dogs in daffodils.

Good things are going on at Skyline R2 School.  New raised garden beds are going up around the green-house area.  Students are learning to grow food—a great program.  Douglas County Health Department Nurse, Elizabeth, was there Tuesday doing free blood pressure checks for area residents.  She also spent time with the youngest students on her monthly visit, this time teaching about poison awareness.  Despite best efforts, sometimes poisonings can happen.  The nurse says if you suspect a poisoning do not wait for symptoms to appear.  Call the Poison Control Center right away!  1-800-222-1222.  On the 27th of March, Skyline third grade teacher Mrs. Downs will have her birthday.  Bus Driver Mr. Ted, also celebrates that day.  Prekindergarten students Brailynn Cumby and Tucker Johnson have their birthdays on the 28th and the 30th.  We wish Happy Birthday to our great Skyline students and staff.  Happy birthday wishes also go out to Jack Masters, a senior line-backer at McCallum High School in Austin, Texas.  He was born on March 27, 2000.  Uncle Al Masters was his great grandfather.  Bobbie Nicholson is a talented Scot singer songwriter.  “It Wasne Me” is one of his great pieces.  His birthday is on the 29th of March and the fair Morag Edward celebrates on the 31st.  If she follows suggestions, she will have been celebrating since the 15th.  Next Tuesday will be the 27th–the last Tuesday of the month the Douglas County Health Department nurse will be at Champion doing the blood pressure checks and other health screenings from 9 to 11 a.m.   Bad weather kept her (Nurse Tina) away last month, but she is back on schedule now providing a valuable service for the community.

Just as a good point of information, if you are going over to the Vanzant Jam of a Thursday evening and intending to play “Oh! Danny Boy,” the standard key for that tune is C.  It is always a pleasant evening with good food (potluck at 6), good music (7-9), and pleasant visiting with friends and neighbors.  The other evening Sherry Bennett said that Sharry Lovan had asked about when the Champion Spring Fling was going to occur.  The Prominent Champion Girlfriend has promised an announcement once Spring has officially arrived.  Last year it was on May 6th—a Saturday and a lovely event.  All kinds of events are being scheduled.  Bud Hutchison will have his Spring Trail Ride from Champion to somewhere and back sometime in May and the Ozarks Older Iron Club will be having its Spring Show on May 11th.  It will happen over in Cabool—a great place to bring the family to enjoy some old time stuff.  There will be an antique tractor show and tractor pull along with gas engines and all kinds of antique equipment displays.  Tell us about your favorite special events by email at champion@championnews.us or snail mail to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.

A woman who moved to this part of the world a few years ago from a big city remarked that she had been surprised and saddened to see how often she saw litter along the roads.  She said, “I wanted to say, ‘Don’t you people know what you have here?  This is a beautiful part of the world.’”  If while going down our beautiful country lanes, you are offended by litter, do yourself a favor.  Stop and pick it up.  The feeling of doing something good washes away the aggravation of seeing what careless, thoughtless people do.  It turns out that people are more likely to litter in an area where litter is already present.  It may be that a gentle word in some nonjudgmental tone might encourage an habitual litterer to stop.  Kindness is a more effective communicator than harsh rebuke.  People who throw beer cans and bottles out on the road one at a time are doing so so as not to have ‘empties’ in their vehicle.  Be careful of people’s feelings and be careful picking up their trash as the weather warms up.  It is always a good idea to have a pair of gloves in your car or truck anyway.  You probably have an extra Wal-Mart bag around and if not, you can probably find one along the road somewhere.  Wasps and ants may occupy cans and you never know when you will run into a copperhead in the springtime.

What better harbinger of Spring than an early morning yard full of robins?  When these migratory songbirds are feeding in flocks, they are vigilant, watching other birds for reactions to predators such as hawks, cats, and snakes.  They are some of the first birds to sing at dawn, and their song consists of several discrete units that are repeated.  The Missouri Department of Conservation says they are a cherished symbol of springtime and their value to the human spirit is reflected in poetry and song.  “He rocks in the treetops all day long/ Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and singing his song/ All the little birds on Jaybird Street/ Love to hear the robin go tweet-tweet-tweet” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!